EDMONDS – The Meadowdale boys basketball team had no plans on overlooking its first playoff opponent heading into Wednesday’s 3A District 1 opener. That was evident by the Mavericks’ 13-0 start to open the game.
Well, the Mavericks are only human.
Despite giving up most of their early lead – the Mavericks led just 18-15 early in the second quarter – Meadowdale eventually got back on track en route to a 61-47 win over upset-minded Ferndale on Wednesday night.
Meadowdale (15-7) faces Squalicum in a District 1 semifinal Saturday night.
“It’s a good feeling,” said Mavericks guard Nero Threet III, who scored 13 points and had a fastbreak dunk as Meadowdale pulled away in the fourth quarter. “We wanted to come out and get the first game.”
Ferndale (6-15) hung around largely due to the play of Evan Price, who scored 19 of his game-high 23 points in the first half.
But Meadowdale had three runs of eight or more points to keep the Golden Eagles at arms’ length.
“We did a nice job of keeping our composure,” Meadowdale coach Chad McGuire said. “They’re a good team, we knew they’re going to make a run at you, and yet we held our composure.”
The Mavericks hit their first three shots of the game, and six of their first nine, en route to the 13-0 lead. Karl Travenshek jumper ended Ferndale’s draught with 3:09 remaining in the first quarter and the Golden Eagles added another field goal before Meadowdale’s Teagan Dooley hit his second 3-pointer to give the Mavericks a comfortable 16-4 lead.
But Price took over for Ferndale after that, scoring 17 of the Golden Eagles’ final 19 points of the half. His three-point play with 6:32 remaining in the second quarter got Ferndale within three points, at 18-15, before Meadowdale went on another run to extend its lead.
The Mavericks led 32-25 at halftime despite 19 first-half points from Ferndale’s Price.
Meadowdale’s just-enough routine continued in the third quarter, when Ferndale scored the first four points to get within three again, at 32-29, before Milan Moncrief spearheaded a nine-point run to put the Mavericks back in control.
Ferndale never got closer than nine points in the fourth quarter, and Threet’s dunk with 6:42 remaining took the wind out of the Golden Eagles for good.
“It was my last game here (at Meadowdale High School), and I wanted to get a dunk,” Threet said. “I hadn’t had one yet this season.”
Moncrief overcame a shaky first half en route to a team-high 14 points before fouling out with 1:43 remaining. Threet and Dooley each added 13. Moncrief, Dooley and Matt Gorman had six rebounds apiece.
The Mavericks forced 16 turnovers and held Price to four points, on just four field-goal attempts, in the second half.
After a loss to Everett High School to end the regular season, Meadowdale proved early in Wednesday’s playoff opener that it was ready for atonement.
“That was the chip on our shoulder,” Dooley said of the loss to Everett.
With a postseason win, the Mavericks are hoping to get on a roll at the right time.
“It’s nice to get the first one under your belt,” McGuire said. “It doesn’t get any easier.
“This is why you play the regular season, for these games.”
At Meadowdale High School
Ferndale – Holst 4, Price 23, Travenshek 8, S.Hannah 5, Lara 2, Pothier 5. Meadowdale – O’Neill 4, Moncrief 14, Gorman 7, Dooley 13, Threet 13, Clampitt 2, Johnson 4, Law 4. 3-point goals -Price 2, Dooley 2. Records – Ferndale 6-15; Meadowdale 15-7.